According to a recent HubSpot and Eventbrite survey of event organizers and attendees, 84% of respondents feel that attending events is an important part of their job, with 79% going to events specifically to learn something. Experts that ran a survey at PCMA found that 79% of event planners are going virtual for their events, so consider making your event a hybrid event with both live in-person activities and online for digital learning.
One of the most common questions asked about events a company is planning is how to get more sign ups for their event. We will cover that here in this article and also cover the registration table and how to make customers feel wanted when they show up at your event.
How Do I Get More People to Register?
You may be most concerned with your user sign ups for your upcoming event. That’s understandable, and your initial planning of the event plays a big role in achieving your desired outcome. Some of the steps for getting maximum user sign ups include:
- Do your market research ahead of time. Is your event something that your market wants? Have you done any surveys with your community to find out what they think would be information worth learning? What do the professionals want and need? What type of ideas are they looking for?
- Reach out to your customer base via your event software package via customer engagement marketing. This means reaching out to people through social media, email, smartphone mobile app, computing platform, blog and whatever other means you use such as television, radio, and sponsors in your industry. Plan your advertising campaign six months ahead of the event with a map of which way your company is going to go with all the marketing (and even the market segmentation). Make sure everyone employed at your company understands your marketing strategy and who the target market is.
- A good practice is to track your ads and discard any performing under 0.10% click-through rate (CTR).
- Set up your web portal for easy payment of the event online. Make the call to action (marketing) so good that they can’t pass up the event.
- Set up the construction of your website and web pages (web content) with hyperlinks, any type of form (html) that is needed, search engine optimization, rendering (computer graphics), and connection to your email marketing system.
- Design the curriculum of the event to ones that the professionals will say, “Wow, that was awesome training and coaching that was offered at their event. They made an impression on me! The classroom training was first class! I’ll consider them for my education needs in the industry next year as well.”
Once you have these in place, start planning your event registration table and the check-in ideas that make customers feel wanted.
Start Planning a Wonderful Welcome at Your Event Registration Table
Getting the logistics right for your event registration table starts with some good planning. Before someone goes to the event registration table, it’s considered good hospitality to have a front desk of some sort where they can find out exactly where to go for registration and/or classes or seminars (all training).
Tables and Chairs at the Registration Location
Let’s begin with the tables. You will need eight-foot tables for the actual registration of guests, chairs for two attendants per table and two guests that are registering, and an additional table for supplies and a necessary work space. Knowing how many guests are expected and how many attendants you will have on the big event day will determine how many tables you will eventually need.
Here’s an example: 500 guests expected. Up to 10 attendants will be available.
Since it’s two attendants per table forming two lines of guests, you will need five tables plus another one or two for supplies and workspace. That’s 7 tables. Chairs will be for 10 attendants who are registering 10 guests, so 10 + 10 = 20, plus an extra two chairs per supply table = 20 + 4 = 24 chairs.
Next, calculate how long the registration process is expected to take per person. If it’s 3.5 minutes, then that means that in 60 minutes, you could have 17 complete rounds of 10 people processed, or 170 people. However, you have 500 guests and it would take 3 hours to register everyone. This is a disaster for any event. Imagine waiting in line for 3 hours… when you could have been sleeping an extra hour in a warm bed!
What would be another option? It could be that you set up three express tables where pre-registered guests can simply pick up their name badge. This would take only about 2 minutes a guest, and you could process another 180 guests in one hour. Encourage guests to pre-register at your website (on multiple web pages) and download any necessary information to make the registration process effortless and efficient.
Carefully work through your logistics. Standing in line for too long is tiring to the body – and mind – and you don’t want your guests to enter the conference in less than peak condition.
It’s often recommended you have at least one floater attendee who can be used as a gopher when guests have problems that need to be solved by management. They will be important for emergency situations.
Your Other Physical Needs for the Registration Table
You will need more than just tables and chairs. Online access is essential. Power cords must be run to the entire registration table area and finished in their setup the night before the event starts. The power cords should be covered so that no one trips on them.
You may also need laptops, office supplies such as markers, name tags, tape, and scissors. Signs such as “reserved” may also be needed. Don’t forget water pitchers and water glasses.
And if you need any additional lighting, consider this vital to registration table setup as well.
Check-In Ideas That Make Guests Feel Wanted
Just so you know, there actually is check-in event management software (computer program) that may already be included in your event management software programs. These programs will include any of the following on the planning list:
- Have employees practice mock registration events. Going through the best practice list of what should be done and when, and the schedule of the whole event is the type of familiarity you want the employees to have. The more familiarity they have, the greater their attention to the guests’ needs and happiness will be.
- When choosing attendants for the registration table, select the ones with the best people skills, experience, and professionalism. The attendants might have experience in marketing, recreation, community events, and wedding photography (Photographers have to give people suggestions to smile no matter what.). Your attendants will make a better impression when they have a high level of physical fitness.
- You may also have a table with promotional merchandise. Those that are in your loyalty program may pick up some special mugs or caps made with your brand. Some organizations set up self-care bags for their loyalty program.
- What type of welcome sign you have also makes a big difference. Surely it will be created by graphic design staff.
- Create all the training materials and education for the event. Will some speakers provide a study guide? Will there be coaching available at the event or in break out rooms? Will you need special training meetings for youth that arrive with the adults? Stay within your budget for the creation of all these items.
- Including a map of the campus, where the lodging possibilities are, where the classrooms or school is for the different training seminars is important in the registration package. Also consider giving them a list of special types of unique places to go in the surrounding area, such as parks and recreation for leisure, best restaurants for social meetings, sport events occurring at the same time, and a list of hotel or motels where other guests may be staying.
- Utilizing the loudspeaker for different announcements, where the different rooms are for the seminar locations is considered good hospitality at your event.
- When planning, always consider that service is your main goal. All customers must see that you are concerned with their learning at the event, their comfort, and their needs. Personalization goes a long way at these events when you consider the service you are offering.
- Access to the event must be considered as well. What display device the customer has, whether it’s a laptop, smartphone with app, email, social media or only a human at the information desk – all these must offer information about your event. Whether or not their usability of their electronic devices fit your event later will affect their rating of the event later.
- Treating every guest of your event as a very important person is the underlying philosophy that will help build your brand and reputation in the best way – for trust and friendship.
Make your event the best you have ever had. Let your events have the notability that your company needs, and let them reflect your brand and values. Then after all the planning and effort, stand back a little on the day of the event and let it rollout successfully. It’s what you worked for – and what you will get.